Joshua Quinlan

Composer, Baritone & Conductor

Joshua Quinlan is a British composer, baritone and conductor. He has worked extensively across the UK and further afield with some of the world's most well-respected artists and ensembles, including the likes of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

He was born in 2000 with a rare genetic condition, Tyrosinase-Negative Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA1a), which affects the production of melanin (the pigment which colours the skin, hair and eyes). As a result of this, he is registered blind, and has a very fair appearance.

His first musical experiences were with the piano, which he started learning at the age of three, later going on to start learning the clarinet at age six. When he was seven, he joined the Choir of Holy Trinity Church, Southport as a Chorister, with whom he received much of his foundational musical training. In 2013, he left the Choir having been offered a place to study at the Royal Northern College of Music's prestigious Junior department, where he studied Composition, Singing, Conducting, Clarinet and Advanced Theory under inspirational musicians including Helen Bywater, Matthew Sergeant, Rosemary Broadbent, Juan Ortuno, Ewa Strusinska, Eduardo Portal, and many others. Whilst studying at the RNCM, Joshua was awarded prizes for Composition and Academic Studies.

In 2016, Joshua was appointed a Composer on Liverpool Philharmonic's Rushworth Young Composer scheme, which offered opportunities to write music for the organisation's various youth ensembles, as well as RLPO and RLPC musicians. Through this programme, he received mentoring from top composers Eve Harrison & Ian Stephens, along with numerous commissions from Liverpool Philharmonic themselves, the Wilfred Owen Society, Tate Modern and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston. In the same year, he also started playing with the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, firstly as Principal Bass Clarinet, and later as Principal Clarinet, leading to opportunities to play alongside musicians from the RLPO, BBC Philharmonic, and numerous other professional orchestras.

Joshua, standing on York's city walls, wearing concert blacks, holding a score of Mahler 8 and brandishing a baton.

Joshua in York, 2020. Photo © Nathan Barker.

The next year, in 2017, Joshua successfully gained a place in the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, an organisation that has come to mean a great deal to him. Initially, he was a member of the Training Choir under Greg Beardsell, and later became a member of the National Youth Choir and National Youth Chamber Choir, both of which he still sings with under the direction of Ben Parry. He has since gone on to become a Section Leader with the National Youth Choir, and a member of Course Staff with the Girls' Choir and Training Choir.

The autumn of 2018 saw the start of Joshua's studies at the University of York, from which he was awarded a first class honours degree in Music, specialising in composition and conducting. Whilst still studying, he was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Society of Arts, and released his first published work under Universal Edition - both achievements which were unprecedented for a musician of his age.

Joshua is currently a baritone with the Choir of Wells Cathedral, a member of the Ivors Academy, and an in-demand freelance musician, performing and working regularly at venues including Abbey Road Studios, Air Studios, and the Royal Albert Hall.